What do you get when you mix a timber frame and a gazebo?
Around the turn of the century, architects and brothers, Charles and Henry Greene designed beautiful structures like this gazebo, using classic post and beam styling. The Greene brothers were active mostly in California, but they built houses across the country and studied architecture at MIT in Boston. To this day, they are recognized as some of the best representatives of the American Arts and Crafts Movement.
Here at Green Mountain Timber Frames, I am currently working with clients who wanted to create a gazebo in Vermont based on pictures and measurements they had made from an existing Greene-styled structure in Rhode Island. To start the process, I called in James Platteter, an extraordinary period furniture maker – check out his web site. Jim provided the mechanical drawings for the structure the old fashioned way – with hand drawings, not a CAD program. Next, we ordered beautiful new timbers of white oak wood and began to shape and form them into the various segments needed to create the wooden gazebo.
Working carefully, with attention to detail, we were able to accurately replicate the Greene brothers’ architectural style. We spent a collective 450 hours building and raising the American Arts and Crafts style frame. Our clients also chose to join the fun by taking part in the raising.
The Greene Brothers architectural style is notably influenced by a variety of cultures. Elements of Japanese, Chinese, Art Nouveau and Arts and Crafts styles can be seen in their work. We tried to duplicate this eclectic style in the gazebo. We carefully chiseled the ends of the white oak timbers and the diagonal braces to replicate “floating clouds”. Using this hand chiseling technique, we gave the wooden pieces more shadow lines and rounded edges. This style creates a softness that is pleasing to the eye and works well in the design of this gazebo. Jim and I feel very fortunate to have had this opportunity. Now that the frame is complete, we will finish the frames roof by applying red cedar shakes. A stone mason will also be working on the frame, wrapping the block foundation in field stone. When the gazebo is finished in the next week or so, we will be sure to post a picture!
At Green Mountain Timber Frames we do frame restoration, replicas of historical properties, new timber frame structures, and we also have old timber frames and barns for sale. If you would like to discuss a project or see one of the Vermont timber frames we have in stock, please do contact me. www.greenmountaintimberframes.com